Minecraft has cross-network play across PC, mobile devices, and the Switch. Nintendo announced during its 2017 Spotlight live stream that Rocket League would be coming to the Switch and be playable with PC and Xbox One players. However, a notably absent part of this merry group is the PlayStation 4. What’s Sony’s beef with cross-network play? This was a mystery that Eurogamer’s Wesley Yin-Poole pursued, and PlayStation’s Global Sales and Marketing Head Jim Ryan answered with rather disappointing news.
He explained that Sony’s open to doing this with other platforms, as can be seen with the likes of GWENT being playable between the PlayStation 4 and PC. However, the corporation is wary about the interactions its player base would have with people from other networks it has no control over.
Unfortunately it’s a commercial discussion between ourselves and other stakeholders, and I’m not going to get into the detail of that on this particular instance. And I can see your eyes rolling.
At least Ryan is self-aware of how superficial (even hypocritical) this reasoning sounds, but he states that there’s no “profound philosophical stance” backing this decision, and unfortunately, he’s unaware of any current internal discussions of making cross-platform play a reality. Jim Ryan then decided to use Minecraft as an example for why they haven’t done it, citing the ages of the game’s audience in this response:
Yeah. We’ve got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base. Minecraft – the demographic playing that, you know as well as I do, it’s all ages but it’s also very young. We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe. Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it’s something we have to think about very carefully
A Senior Global Communications Manager for Minecraft, Aubrey Norris said it would love to have PlayStation players on board with Minecraft.
We would love to have PlayStation players along with the unified Minecraft, hope that we can. https://t.co/hRGPG8Aj8a
— Aubrey @ E3 (@Chupacaubrey) June 11, 2017
Interestingly enough, it’s not like this would involve days of re-configuring servers or hard work connecting the disparate networks. Psyonix’s VP of Publishing, Jeremy Dunham, also said he would adore having Rocket League extend to Sony’s player base. In an interview with Polygon’s Ben Kuchera, he said his team could do this instantly. Sony wouldn’t have to worry about a thing since Psyonix runs its own servers, but Sony remains silent on letting cross-play happen.
It’s literally something we could do with a push of a button, metaphorically. In reality it’s a web page with a checkbox on it. All we have to do is check that box and it would be up and running in less than an hour all over the world. That’s all we need to do.
Sony sure is strange when it comes to its business practices, fluctuating in how strict and lax it can be with some surprising inconsistency on occasion. What do you think? Do you think Sony will cave if there’s enough demand for cross-platform play or will they remain stubborn? Cross over to the comments section to let us know what games you’d like to play across other platforms.